Mary Ann Bevans, commonly referred to as ‘The Homeliest Woman in the World’, likely suffered from acromegaly. She was born Mary Ann Webster in London, England in 1874 as one of eight children. She was employed as a nurse and began to display characteristics of acromegaly shortly after her marriage in 1903.
Following the passing of her husband in 1914, found herself solely financially responsible for her four children. In an attempt to make some money, she entered and subsequently won an ‘Ugly Woman’ contest.
She was quickly hired by Coney Island’s Dreamland Circus in 1920 and there she remained, excluding a few short appearances for Ringling Bros and a 1926 World’s Fair spot, until her death at the age of 59 on December 26, 1933.
More recently, a Hallmark Birthday card featuring the image of Mary Ann Bevans launched a feeling of outrage in UK shops. A Dutch doctor complained that the card was inappropriate. Hallmark realized their error and promptly removed the offensive cards.